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The term 'cyber law' in general refers to all the legal and
regulatory aspects of Internet. It means that anything concerned
with, related to, or emanating from any legal aspects or issues
concerning any activity of netizens and others in cyberspace
comes within the ambit of cyber law. More specifically, cyber law
can be defined as a law governing the use of computer and the
Internet. Namely, it focuses on a combination of state and federal
statutory, decisional and administrative laws arising out of the use
of Internet.

The IT revolution resulted in a phenomenal increase in the

number of cyberspace1 users all over the world. The birth of the
Internet resulted in networking which helped millions of users to
connect online, thus facilitating the sharing of information. In India
also, there was an overwhelming increase in the number of
internet-users. Forrester Research, a technology and market
research Firm reported that the number of internet-users
worldwide would touch the 2.2 billion mark by 2013 and that India
would have the third highest number of internet-users at the same
time.2 The government framed and announced Internet policy
document in 19973 to promote and encourage internet-users in

William Gibson coined the term cyberspace in his science fiction novel Neuromancer
written in early 1980s. The plot was largely set in a setting that had no physical
existence. The plot involved a hacker employed by an anonymous employer to hack.
Cyberspace was a conceptual hallucination that felt and looked like a physical space,
but was actually computer-generated. In this setting, people, connected to network,
carried out business transactions, worked, played and broke the law.
E.A. Cavazos and Govino Morin, Cyberspace and the Law: Your Rights and Duties in the
online world (1994), p. 1
2 rd
The Times of India, India to have 3 largest number of internet users by 2013, July 26,
2009 available at
business/28171189_1_internet-users-online-population-asian-markets (last visited
July 11, 2011)
Internet Policy of Government of India-1997
Introduction to Cyber Crime

India.4 With economic activities like buying, selling, advertising,

etcetera taking place online, the Internet indeed proved to be a
boon for many. Little did anyone suspect that the uncontrolled
manner in which online activities were carried on would give way
to another category of computer related crimes. Cyber crime is a
new type of criminal activity that started raising its ugly head in the
early 1990s, as the Internet emerged as a virtual place for the users
worldwide to meet and share various forms of Information. This
development also paralleled with the entry of criminals to gain
access to sensitive information if they have the necessary
knowhow. Thus the Cyber space became vulnerable from the
economic and social perspectives- driving companies and
individuals to take costly steps to ensure their safety and exposure
from those deviant acts in the cyber space.

1.1 Cyber Law and Cyber Crime:

One of the early cyber crime, which had come to the public
notice is the fraud relating to fund transfer online to the tune of
USD 10 Million from Citibank. A Russian hacker group led by
Vladimir Kevin, a renowned hacker, perpetrated the attack
compromising the banks security systems. Vladimir was allegedly
using his office computer at AO Saturn, a computer firm in St.
Petersburg, Russia, to break into Citibank computers to commit
the cyber crime. He was finally arrested on Heathrow airport on his
way to Switzerland.

Cyber Crimes increased by 22.7% in 2007 as compared to

2006 (from 453 in 2006 to 556 in 2007), Cyber Forgery 64.0% (217
out of total 339) and Cyber Fraud 21.5% (73 out of 339) were the
main cases under IPC category for Cyber Crimes. In this 63.05% of
the offenders under IT Act were in the age group 18-30 years (97
out of 154) and 55.2% of the offenders under IPC Sections were in
the age group 30-45 years (237 out of 429) according to the latest

Bharats Hand Book of Cyber and e-commerce Laws, Edited and compiled by P.M.
Bakshi and R.K. Suri,, Bharat Publishing House, New Delhi, 2002, p. 12
6 P.G. Diploma in Cyber Laws
Introduction to Cyber Crime

data available with the National Crime Records Bureau of the

Ministry of Home of Government of India.

The Information Technology Bill (1999) has defined the

cybercrimes as:

Whoever knowingly or intentionally conceals, destroys, or alters

or intentionally or knowingly causes another to conceal, destroy,
or alter any computer source document used for a computer,
computer programme, computer system, or computer network,
when computer source code is required to be kept or maintained
by law for the time being in force [shall be punishable with a
fine which may extend up to rupees two lakhs or with
imprisonment up to three years, or with both].

1.2 Classification of Cyber Crimes:

Computer crime mainly consists of unauthorized access to

computer systems data alteration, data destruction, and theft of
intellectual properly. Cyber crime in the context of national security
may involve hacking, traditional espionage, or information warfare
and related activities.

Pornography, threatening email, assuming someone's

identity, sexual harassment, defamation, SPAM and Phishing are
some examples where computers are used to commit crime,
whereas viruses, worms and industrial espionage, software piracy
and hacking are examples where computers become target of

Broadly there are two classes of cyber crimes:

A. Computer Assisted Cyber Crimes: computer is instrumental

in committing the crime.

Selling nonexistent, defective, substandard or counterfeit

goods, theft of credit card, bank fraud, fake stock shares,
P.G. Diploma in Cyber Laws 7
Introduction to Cyber Crime

intellectual property offences including unauthorized

sharing of the copy righted content of movies, music,
digitized books

Selling obscene and prohibited sexual representations.

B. Computer Oriented Cyber Crimes: Computer is the target of

the crime

Malicious Software: viruses, Trojans (which corrupt server)

Cyber terrorism:

Child pornography

Violent and extreme pornography

Internet inspired homicides and suicides

Worm: Self-replicating programmes, spread autonomously

without a carrier.

Ex. Via mail, scanning remote systems

Trojan: installed during downloading some programme as a

back ground activity causing irreparable damage

Spyware: parasitic software-invades privacy-divulging

details- through tracking cookies.

Even though our basic understanding about cyber crime is

that computer is necessary as one of the components of the
offence, it is also interpreted that a crime committed by using any
digital device is covered under the ambit of cyber crime. For
example: Casio digital diary, Mobiles, Calculators, Pen drives, CDs.

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Introduction to Cyber Crime

1.3 Cyber Security:

Cyberspace is as vulnerable as much as it is a vital

infrastructure. The threat is real. US President Obama recently
declared that "cyber threat is one of the most serious economic
and national security challenges we face as a nation" and that
"America's economic prosperity in the 21st century will depend on
cyber security." The same is true for other nations as well. Private
and public cyber infrastructure in the United States falls under
nearly constant attack, often from shadowy sources connected to
terrorist groups, organized crime syndicates, or foreign

These attacks bear the potential to disrupt e-mail and other

online communications networks, but also the national energy
grid, military-defense ground and satellite facilities, transportation
systems, financial markets, and other essential facilities. In short, a
substantial cyber-attack could take down the nation's entire
security and economic infrastructure. Cyber is the new domain of
international espionage, sabotage, and war. China, Russia, the
United Kingdom, and the United States employ extensive cyber
spying networks." A coordinated series of denial-of service and
other attacks could cripple a state's political and communications
systems, as happened during "Web War 1" between Russia and
Estonia in 20076 as computer networks collapsed, factories and
chemical plants exploded, satellites spin out of control and the
financial and power grids failed." In June 2010, for example, a
computer worm called "Stuxnet" was discovered in Iran. At first
inspection, it appeared to be a routine bit of malware. Closer

PRESIDENCY 1 (2008) [hereinafter CSIS REPORT], available at cyberspace 44.pdf)

The Threat from the Internet: Cyberiar, ECONOMIST, July 3, 2010, at 50, available at
FTOKEN=341 82131.
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Introduction to Cyber Crime

analysis, however, revealed that Stuxnet was carefully designed to

disrupt the sort of systems that help control equipment at nuclear
power plants. Stuxnet's subtlety and sophistication suggested to
most experts that it was engineered not by rogue hackers, but
rather by an entity with the resources of a nation-state, and that it
was specifically targeted to damage Iran's nuclear capabilities.
Many Analysts suspected that it was coordinated and launched by
Israel or the United States.7

Recent evidence suggests that Stuxnet successfully curtailed

Iran's production of refined uranium. The Stuxnet attack appears
to have bled into "real" space: the Iranian scientist chiefly
responsible for eradicating Stuxnet from Iran's nuclear plants was
killed on November 29, 2010, by assassins on motorbikes, who
threw a bomb when he was driving his car.

Trojan horse- Program that performs some ostensibly

useful function but contains, lurking within its code, a damaging
instruction set. Often, that instruction set will enable a remote user
to assume control of a system, or will secretly introduce unwanted
software into a system. Indeed, Trojan horses are probably the
most common way in which viruses are introduced into computer
systems. While technologically complex, and once the sole
province of sophisticated users, Trojan horses now are readily
available from websites catering to would-be hackers. For example,
the "Cult of the Dead Cow," a group of cyber-anarchists devoted
to keeping the web free, created a program known as "Black
Orifice 2000" that when downloaded from a user's e-mail, enables
a remote user to take advantage of security problems with
Windows and allows a remote user to control the target's

(Kim Zetter, Clues Suggest Stuxnet Virus Was Built for Subtle Nuclear Sabotage,
WIRED THREAT LEVEL (Nov. 15, 2010, 4:00 PM), /stuxnet-clues.)
10 P.G. Diploma in Cyber Laws
Introduction to Cyber Crime

Password sniffers - Password sniffers are programs that

monitor and record the names and password of Internet users as
they log on to the network. The programs work by collecting bytes
of the computer that is being monitored by the installer of the
sniffer. When a network user types in a user name and a password,
the sniffer collects the information and passes it on to the installer.
With the use of this information the installer logs on to the system,
has access to restricted documents and can manipulate
information held therein.8

A virus is a program that modifies other computer

programs. The modifications ensure that the infected program
replicates the virus. In other words, the original program (the
analogue to a healthy cell) is changed by the virus so that the virus
can multiply. Once infected, the program secretly requests the
computer's operating system to add a copy of the virus code to
the target program.

Once that computer is connected to another computer,

either through the Internet, direct computer connection, or even
through a common floppy disk, the virus may spread beyond the
original host computer. A virus is not inherently harmful-its
harmfulness will depend on the additional codes placed into the
virus besides the code for self-replication. Some viruses, however,
have caused enormous damage.

The Melissa virus - Melissa infected its first victim when a

reader of the pornographic newsgroup caught it. Within
days of this initial contact, Melissa infected more than one
hundred Fortune 1000 companies. The virus operated by e-mailing
a list of eighty pornographic web sites to fifty e-mail addresses in
the electronic address book of the infected system. Id. The fifty
recipients received e-mails with the subject line "Important
Message From..." and the virus automatically filled in the initial

( 66 J. Crim. L. 269 2002)
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Introduction to Cyber Crime

user's name-so that it appeared that the recipient was receiving a

message from his or her friend, rather than from the Melissa

Worms - A worm is a stand-alone program that replicates

itself. Both worms and viruses self-replicate. The distinction is that
while a virus requires human action, from downloading a specific
file to placing an infected disk in a computer, a worm uses a
computer network to duplicate itself and does not require human
activity for transmission. For example I love you virus bred on a
hosts computer and it reproduced over a network. Most
companies, including AT&T Corp., Ford Motor Co., and Merrill
Lynch & Co., shut down their e-mail systems to prevent a spread
of the attack, resulting in lost time and productivity. Government
agencies were also affected, including the Pentagon, the CIA,
NASA, the Swiss Government, Danish Parliament, and the British
House of Commons.

Investigators traced the I Love You bug to several

computer students in the Philippines, but the case was ultimately
dropped because the Philippines had no applicable law against
viruses or hacking.

Some Illustrations :

E -mail Cheating -Mr. Vijay Ninwane works at Abu Dhabi.

He was sent a mail by one X saying that she is interested in him.
Both of them exchanged nude photos, erotic stories etc. x
introduced her friends y1, y2, y3, y4. Vijay could not meet x as
promised as a result of which she committed suicide. Then Vijay
received mail from WWW.KOLKATTA_POLICE.COM,
WWW.CBI_HQ.COM alleging that he is responsible for her death
and he would be prosecuted for the same. Vijay contacted Y1 for
help. Y1 coaxed Vijay to have a lawyer and she will help him to get
a lawyer. Accordingly Y1 fixed Mr. Pranab Mitra of Mitra & Mitra
associates and made him believe that they are the leading lawyers.

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Introduction to Cyber Crime

Vijay paid total Rs.70 lakhs (Rs.1.19 crore as per investigating

officer). During the investigation it was revealed there is no girl by
name X and Y1 and others are also fictitious persons created by
one single man named Mr. Pranab Mitra, General Manager of the

Cyber Murder - A patient was admitted in New York

Hospital. The entire system was computerized in the hospital. One
cracker entered the system and modified the data relating to
amount of insulin to be injected to a patient as a result of which
60mg was modified into 260mg. Nurse injected the same amount
of insulin to the patient and he died.

PHISHING - Using spoof e-mails or directing people to

fake web sites to fool them into divulging personal financial details
so criminals can access their accounts.

PHARMING - Technically more sophisticated and it means

exploitation of vulnerability in the DNS server software.
Approximately 7.9 million phishing attacks are made per day on
pentagon. There is a tremendous increase of 39% over first half of

1.4 Distinction between cyber crime and conventional


Cybercrime is a term used to broadly describe criminal

activity in which computers or computer networks are a tool, a
target, or a place of criminal activity and include everything from
electronic cracking to denial of service attacks. It is also used to
include traditional crimes in which computers or networks are used
to enable the illicit activity.

The expression crime is defined as an act, which subjects

the doer to legal punishment or any offence against morality,

P Krishna Sastry, Forensic Expert, Questioned Documents, Hyderabad.
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Introduction to Cyber Crime

social order or any unjust or shameful act. The "offence" is defined

in the Indian Penal Code to mean as an act or omission made
punishable by any law for the time being in force.

Sir William Blackstone defines crime as a Act committed or

omitted in violation of a public law forbidding or commanding it.

Sir C.K. Allen (The Nature of a crime) proposes that Crime is

crime because it consists in wrong doing which directly and in
serious degree threatens the security or well-being of the society,
and it is not safe to leave it redressable only by compensation of
the parties injured.

Wolfenden Committee (England) tried to explain crime as

The function of criminal law is to preserve public order and
decency, to protect the citizen from what is offensive or injurious,
and to provide sufficient safeguards against exploitation and
corruption of others, particularly those who are especially
vulnerable. It is not a function of the law to intervene in the private
lives of citizens or to seek to enforce any particular pattern of
behaviour, further than is necessary to carry out the purposes
which we have outlined.

The general laws in the area of criminal law commonly

referred are the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (IPC), which is the
general penal law of India and the Indian Evidence Act, 1872
(Evidence Act), the general law pertaining to admissibility of
evidence in civil and criminal trials. The manner in which trial of
criminal cases are to be conducted is dealt with under the Criminal
Procedure Code, 1973 (Cr. P. C).

To understand cyber crimes and its ramifications in terms

of the damage, the challenge to prosecution, the loopholes of the
existing criminal justice system, the powers of regulation and its
boundaries, it is essential to have look at the concept of crime

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Introduction to Cyber Crime

In every organized society, certain acts and omissions are

forbidden on pain of punishment, which may even extend to the
forfeiture itself. What acts or omissions should be singled out for
punishment or be branded as crimes has always depended on the
force, vigour and movement of public opinion from time to time to
and country to country and even in the same country from decade
to decade.

Dowry was considered as a social status at a particular

period, which today is a crime. Untouchability was an accepted
social norm of a particular period in society in tune with caste
hierarchy and today it is a crime under the constitution. Thus very
many acts are crime today, which are not once, and some acts like
homosexuality or lesbianism, which is a crime today, could change
tomorrow. In essence the concept of crime is static in some
aspects such as stealing, fraud, causing injury, murder etc. and
changing in certain aspects of social norms and relationship.

Similarly crime in a society is not a crime in another

society. What could be considered as obscenity in India could be
viewed differently in Sweden. For example watching pornography
is not a crime in England, whereas in India public watching,
transmission of porn material is an offence.

As it is very difficult to explain and define a crime , we can

describe it and may state that in a crime we find at least three
attributes mainly first that it is a harm brought about by some anti
social act of a human being, which sovereign power wants to
prevent, secondly the preventive measures taken by the state
appear in the form of threat of a sanction or punishment and
thirdly the legal proceedings wherein the guilt or otherwise of the
accused is determined are a special kind of proceedings governed
by special rules of evidence.

A crime consists of following components. a) Human being

b) Mens Rea- the mental state of the person accused of a criminal
P.G. Diploma in Cyber Laws 15
Introduction to Cyber Crime

act or guilty mind c) Actus Reus- committing an act or omission of

an act when it is warranted resulting in a criminal act d) harm to
body mind or reputation.

Yet another very important aspect of crime is that 1. A

particular act or omission shall be recognized by a law as an
offence and 2. There shall be a punishment prescribed for the
offence recognized.

The legal debate surrounding cyber crimes is twofold. The

first challenge is to define what constitutes cyber crimes as
opposed to physical crimes and the second challenge is that of
the application of traditional criminal law and criminal justice
administration on the cyber crimes. In the first debate on what
constitutes cyber crimes there is some consensus. Legal analysts
have a consensus that cyber crimes are those crimes perpetuated
using computers and computer networks through the medium of
Internet to perpetuate various cyber crimes. Such crimes are

It is on the second aspect of analysis, whether cyber crimes

need a different interpretation of the criminal law concepts, there
are divergent views. Whether there should be a separate cyber
crime laws or whether traditional criminal law is enough? How to
assess and compute the damages in cyber crimes using the
traditional analysis of criminal law used in the concept of physical
crime and related issues. Additionally the nature of cyber crimes
by virtue of the internet is a crime which poses challenge to
international conduct and hence the need for an international
dimension of cyber crimes which is considered as the
international warfare of Information technology.

On the regulation of the cyber crimes again there is a wide

debate on how far one can regulate and what type of regulations
should be in place. There could be consensus on the regulation of
cyber crimes such as hacking, fraud, obscenity and related crimes,

16 P.G. Diploma in Cyber Laws
Introduction to Cyber Crime

where as the human right activists, votaries of privacy and other

activists accuse violations of the authority on the name of security
and cyber crime where their civil rights are curbed, activities
monitored and privacy intruded.

The term cyber crime is a misnomer. The concept of cyber

crime is not radically different from the concept of conventional
crime. Both include conduct whether act or omission, which cause
breach of rules of law and counterbalanced by the sanction of the
state. However, there are certain differences between the two. It
would be relevant to points out these similarities and differences
between the two.

1.5 Requirement of guilty mind for cyber crimes:

To be guilty of cybercrime in India, a person must act

voluntarily and willfully. For example, a person who deliberately
sends Viruses online is guilty of cybercrime; a person who forwards
an e-mail without realizing it contains a virus or spreads a virus
when her account is hacked is not guilty.

Sec 65, 66 and 67 of IT Act mandates that offences

recognised under these provisions shall be committed by the
accused intentionally. Intention, knowledge, fraudulent intention,
connotes various forms of guilty mind. The following is a brief
explanation of some phrases used in IT Act connoting guilty mind.


1. Design of doing an act

2. Purpose/ design with which an act is done. It is also the

expectation that certain consequences will follow from the
conduct of a person. Conduct is the proof of intention.

Noted Jurist Salmond says that every wrongful act may raise
two distinct questions with respect to the intention of the
P.G. Diploma in Cyber Laws 17
Introduction to Cyber Crime

doer. How did he do the act? Why did he do it? First is an

inquiry into intention. Second is concern with his ulterior

Knowledge and belief:

Knowledge is the awareness of facts. If an accused knows

the consequences or have the awareness of the facts it is deemed
that he has guilty mind.

Dishonest Intention:

Sec 24 of IPC defines Dishonestly as,

Whoever does anything with the intention of causing wrongful

gain to one person or wrongful loss to another person, is said to
do that thing "dishonestly".

Sec 25 of IPC defines Fraudulently as,

A person is said to do a thing fraudulently if he does that thing

with intent to defraud but not otherwise.

The IT Act, Sec 66B uses the word dishonest intention

which is not defined in the Act, then one can refer to IPC which is a
general legislation in the area of criminal law.

Law of Attempt:

Person commits offence of attempt to commit an offence

when he/she

1. Intends to commit that particular offence

2. He having made preparation with an intention to

commit an offence, does an act towards commission

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Introduction to Cyber Crime

3. Such an act need not be the penultimate act towards

committing that offence, but should be an act during
the course of committing that offence.

4. Such act must be proximate to offence.

Measure of proximity is not in relation to time and action,

but in relation to intention

There are five kinds of punishments recognized by IPC, 1860

- Death, Imprisonment for Life, Imprisonment Rigorous and simple,
Forfeiture of Property and Fine.

Information Technology Act, 2000 for cyber crimes

prescribes two kinds of punishments i.e. imprisonment and fine.

How to judge whether particular incident is a crime ?

Example 1: Mr. Ram bolts the door of a house belonging to X

from outside and sets fire, resulting in death of four inhabitants. If
we analyse the case, first point is Ram is a human being had it been
a monkey not liable, second he had an intention to burn the house
and kill the inhabitants which is clear from his conduct of bolting
door from outside, three he committed the forbidden act of burning
and fourth there is harm which is death of four people. Hence it is a
crime of Murder punishable under Sec 300 of IPC with either Life
imprisonment or death.

Example 2: A fired a shot at a bush in a thick forest thinking

there is a tiger behind it, but there is a person who died of the shot.
The question is whether he is liable. He is not liable because he
doesnt have the required guilty mind; his intention was to kill a

Thus the penal provisions will act upon the application of

the above basic elements in any crime in the physical world. The
basics of such is in the first place, any legal system should first
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Introduction to Cyber Crime

define certain acts as criminal which is harmful to the society and

there upon the actions that are considered as crime will be subject
to the scrutiny of the above elements of intention, conduct,
circumstance and prohibited act to evoke the required penal
provisions. The fundamental principle is that a conviction is
possible only if there is a concrete proof beyond reasonable doubt
that the act of a person is prohibited by the criminal law and such
an act is also committed with an intention of causing the same.


The cyber world is defined as a virtual world, which is

different from that of the physical world. The cyber world though a
virtual world is a reality, which interconnects, people,
organizations, Governments. It transacts information at the basic
level but also conducts the business of governments and private
enterprises in a manner where no other technology could dream
of. The cyber space is also a space where various types of crimes
are perpetuated and the magnitude of such crimes could be
unimaginable due its speed, anonymity and destruction has been
amply recorded. The moot point is whether the same principles of
criminal law can be applied to the cyber world crimes as applied
to the world of physical crimes. The answer is divided.

One school of thought advocate that it is possible to interpret

the crimes perpetuated in the cyber world to that of the physical
world and hence could apply the same principles to regulate them.
To substantiate the following arguments are held forth:

1. Cyber Crimes are nothing but crimes of the physical world

perpetuated in the world of computers and hence there is
no difference in defining a crime in the cyber world and the
physical world

20 P.G. Diploma in Cyber Laws
Introduction to Cyber Crime

2. As in the physical world the cyber world crimes are

perpetuated by individuals or groups, where the medium is
the only difference.

3. As the traditional principles of criminal law have tackled

various technologies used in the past it is capable of
analyzing and interpreting the new technology as well.

4. The cyber crimes in fact are lesser in scope than the physical
crime like fraud, intrusion of privacy, data theft, damage to
computers, cheating consumers etc. where as physical injury
or other crimes like rape, grievous hurt or bigamy cannot be
perpetuated through the cyber crimes.

5. The technological advancement of the information

technology itself is a deterrent and a tool in tracking and
convicting the crimes.

On the other hand there are advocates who say that cyber
crimes cannot be tackled with the conventional principles of
cyber crimes and thus need special laws to regulate them and
they put forth the following arguments:
1. Cyber Crime is a crime, which has a potential and
uncontrollable damage and needs stricter regulations. A
virus introduced can damage millions of computers before
even finding the perpetuator.
2. The cyber crime is perpetuated by anonymous person who
has to be skilled in opening the password and security
systems and can vanish without a trace.
3. The cyber crimes are transnational in nature, which involves
complex prosecution procedures to bring the culprits to the
4. The Cyber crime of obscenity and pornography has a
potential moral depravity on generations which could push
them into the physical world of crimes
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Introduction to Cyber Crime

5. The National Security and security in terms of safety like

Airports, Railway systems are more vulnerable and could
create chaos and economic loss by cyber crimes and hence
special laws to apprehend, prosecute with stiffer penalties
are needed in context of cyber crimes
6. The technology is a fast changing one and hence needs a
different type of enforcement system to tackle the cyber
crimes unlike the physical crimes.

1.7 Punishments under IT Act:

With the debate on the above lines continuing one thing is

clear that cyber crimes has the potential to damage the economic
aspects of a society and a nation due to technology where speed,
ease of operation, defying boundaries are strengths and
weaknesses at the same time. The legislations around the world
are veering around to the view that cyber crimes warrant stricter
penalties due to its quantum of damage. There are also attempts
to address the technology related issues by setting up of cyber

In Indian context, the IT Act of 2000 tries to address the

question of cyber crimes by defining what is a damage in the
context of the computers and the relevant penalties as follows:

Imprisonment for a specific period of time and fine is

prescribed as punishments for cyber crimes in the Act. It is not
clear from provisions whether imprisonment is of rigorous or
simple in nature. The fine amounts are in tune with the losses
incurred in cyber world and are quite deterrent in nature. For
Example Sec 66 IT imposes two lakhs of rupees as fine.


Section 76 provides that Any computer, computer system,

floppies, compact disks, tape drives or nay other accessories

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Introduction to Cyber Crime

related thereto, in respect of the if which any provision of this Act,

rule, orders or regulations made there under has been or is being
contravened, shall be liable to confiscation:

Provided that where it is established to the satisfaction of the

court adjudicating the confiscation that the person in whose
possession, power or control of any such computer, computer
system, floppies, compact disks, tape drives or any other
accessories relating thereto is found is not responsible for the
contravention of the provisions of this Act, rules, orders or
regulations made there under, the court may, instead of making an
order for confiscation of such computer, computer system,
floppies, compact disks, tape drives or any other accessories
related thereto, make such other order authorized by this Act
against the person contravening of the provisions of this Act, rules,
orders or regulations made there under as it may think fit.

Residuary Penalty:

According to Section 45, whoever contravenes any rules or

regulations made under this Act, for the contravention of which no
penalty has been separately provided, shall be liable to pay a
compensation not exceeding twenty-five thousand rupees to the
person affected by such contravention or a penalty not exceeding
twenty-five thousand rupees.

Non-Interference with other Punishments:

According to Section 77 of the Act, No penalty imposed or

confiscation made under this Act shall prevent the imposition of
any other punishment to which the person affected thereby is
liable under any other law for the time being in force.

P.G. Diploma in Cyber Laws 23